Scientists have found traces of a giant solar storm 2,600 years ago
In ice cores retrieved in Greenland, Swedish researchers have found traces of a giant solar storm that occurred more than 2,600 years ago. The event was about 10 times larger than any other recorded solar storm.
International teamoł scientistow led by researchers from Sweden’s Lund University found traces of a giant solar storm in ice cores retrieved in Greenland, ktora took place in 660 p.n.e.
Our planet is constantly bombarded by cosmic particles. Sometimes, however, this stream of particles is particularlyolnie strong. It is related to solar storms. For 70 years, scientists have been studying this phenomenon using direct observations of the sun. This research has deepened our understanding of how theob solar storms can pose a threat to the electrical grid, rolar systemoin communications, satelliteoin and air traffic.
One of the largest recorded wspohe storms occurred in 1989 and caused widespread damage to power grids in the Canadian province of Quebec. In the literature amongod the largest are also depicted in the magnetic storm of 1859, whichora was probably much stronger than the one in 1989, but these cases pale by the recent findings of researchers.
Since such events have been studied for 70 years, it is not entirely clear how common they are. Researchers at Lund University used drilled probks of ice cores to find indications ofowks on ancient solar storms. The cores originated in Greenland and contain lod have developed over the past 100,000 years. The material contains evidence of a very strong solar storm, whichora took place in 660 p.n.e.
The gigantic storm thatothat hit Earth more than 2,600 years ago was about 10 times more powerful than any other recorded solar storm, according to a new study published in the journal „Proceedings of National Academy of Science”.
– If such a strong solar storm occurred today, it could have serious consequences for our technologically advanced society – said Raimund Muscheler, professor of geology at Lund University. The world has become much more dependent on electricity since the last major solar storms. If a similarly powerful storm were to hit now, power outages could last weeks, months or even years.
Previous studies have shown that extreme storms can generate radioactive beryllium-10, chlorine-36 and carbon-14 atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere. Evidence of such events can be found in tree rings and ice cores, potentially giving scientists sposob to study the ancient activity of our sun.
While studying ice cores from Greenland, scientists noticed an increase in radioactive beryllium-10 and chlorine-36 about 2610 years ago. This corresponds to earlier work examining tree rings, whichora indicated the rise of carbon-14 at the same time.
In earlier studies, scientists using zarowno ice cores, as well as rings of old trees, have confirmed the existence of twooch other powerful solar storms. One occurred around 775, the other around 994. The former with its power dorown the event of 660 p.n.e.
Muscheler stressed that even though such powerful solar storms are rare, the new findings show that they are a naturally recurring effect of solar activity. – This is why we need to increase protection from solar storms – added the researcher.